who wins Breakthrough Fighter of the Year


Orange Belt
Sep 15, 2012
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I'm not sure if the award has been given out yet but who do you all think has earned "The Breakthrough Fighter of the Year" award?

I'd have to give it to Johny Hendricks he's young and has been tearing the division up this year.
I'd say Rory Macdonald. Guys been making a name for himself although I do t think the fans do like him based on his personality.
Even though he only fought once, I'd say Michael McDonald. He knocked out Torres and will be fighting for the title in Feb at age 21!
Bendo or Rory I would think.

I would have said Gus if he ran through Shogun though.
I like Gusafsson
Demetrius Johnson. Most people had Benavidez winning the FLW tourney easily. I know I did. DJ really impressed me.
I would say Hendricks but his first breakthrough fight happened on Dec 30 of 2011 against Fitch. But a close second would be Michael McDonald.
Nate Diaz gotta be up there. Even with the Hendo loss. He tore up some excellent opponents.
One of these guys...

Benson Henderson
Matt Brown

Honorable Mention to...

Chris Weidman
Demian Maia
Jon Jones
I think guys who've been known as a top fighter for awhile now shouldn't be put into "breakthrough fighter of the year".

Someone new who's really put their name on the map deserves it more.

I'd probably go with Weidman. He was basically unknown last year and people still questioned him coming into 2012.

But big wins over Maia and Munoz really cemented his place at the top.